Spanish GP: Fiat Yamaha qualifying report

Lorenzo smashes Jerez lap record to take second consecutive pole Home hero Jorge Lorenzo continued his impressive rookie assault on the MotoGP class with an outstanding pole position in Jerez today, smashing the existing pole record by almost a...

Lorenzo smashes Jerez lap record to take second consecutive pole

Home hero Jorge Lorenzo continued his impressive rookie assault on the MotoGP class with an outstanding pole position in Jerez today, smashing the existing pole record by almost a second aboard his Fiat Yamaha M1 in front of thousands of Spanish fans. The youngest rider on the grid produced a masterful qualifying display to take his second consecutive pole position and his 3rd at this circuit.

After topping the time sheets yesterday, Lorenzo continued gradually refining his set-up throughout this morning's free practice and the early part of the afternoon session, before setting the fastest lap so far on the first of three Michelin qualifying tyres with 20 minutes remaining. He bettered himself once again soon after before an inch-perfect final lap on his third soft tyre saw him improve another half a second to consolidate pole position. Dani Pedrosa was over half a second slower in second place whilst third spot was filled by Yamaha Tech 3 rider Colin Edwards for the second race running. Lorenzo's team-mate Valentino Rossi had looked on course to join him on the front row before an electronic problem caused him to abandon his final hot lap, and he will start from fifth for tomorrow's 27-lap race.

Jorge Lorenzo 1st 1'38.189

"The pole position and the second place in Qatar were like a dream, so it's an amazing surprise for me to repeat that pole position here, and even better because it's in front of my home fans! I was really happy with the last qualifying lap, my earlier ones were already quite good but not perfect, so I was really excited to make such a great final lap. Our race pace is good as well and I am feeling very comfortable on the bike and with my Michelin tyres. My rivals are very strong and will be trying hard to beat me, but I will definitely be fighting for the podium! Thanks to my team for doing a great job; I am really excited about tomorrow and I hope we have more weather like this and a fantastic show."

Daniele Romagnoli - Team manager

"Today was a perfect day. We watched today's qualifying with great emotion as Jorge demonstrated an excellent race pace and then beat the pole record in fantastic style on his qualifying laps. We were amazed! Yamaha and Michelin were able to provide a perfect package for us today, enabling Jorge to do an excellent job and ride in an incredible way. After today's result it's clear that we have the possibility to be on the podium tomorrow, and we will try our best to be there."

Fiat Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi will start the Spanish Grand Prix from fifth position tomorrow. The Italian's last flying lap was cut short by an electronic issue but he nevertheless has an excellent race pace and looks on course to be a protagonist in tomorrow's 27-lap race.

Rossi spent the first half of this afternoon's session refining set-up and testing Bridgestone tyres ahead of the race tomorrow, before strong laps with his first two qualifying tyres saw him on the provisional front row. He was confident of dipping under the 1'38 mark with his final try, but the electronic problem saw the end of his challenge and he will start from the middle of the second row. His time of 1'39.064 was dead-on the existing pole record, which was meanwhile bettered by almost a second by his young team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

Valentino Rossi 5th 1'39.064

"Our target today was the front row and I think we could have done a 1'38 and maybe been second, but unfortunately I had an electronic problem on my last qualifying lap and I had to stop, which was unlucky. This is a pity and of course it would be better to be on the front, but anyway we're not far away, the second row is not so bad and I think we can be competitive tomorrow. Our race pace is okay, I think with some small adjustments we can improve a bit more but we're close. Congratulations to Lorenzo, I don't know if we can be quite as fast as him on race tyres and he will be hard to beat tomorrow, but let's see! We still haven't decided on our final race tyre, we have to wait and see how the temperature is tomorrow, but it's going to be a very exciting race and we're all looking forward to it!"

Davide Brivio Team manager

"It was a pity that Valentino couldn't finish his final qualifying lap today but unfortunately he had a small electronic issue, which we're now looking into to work out exactly what happened so that we can avoid it in future. The good news is that, apart from this lap, we were fast with the qualifying tyre as well as on race tyres and so this bodes well for the rest of the season's races. We still have to finalise our tyre choice for the race and make a few final adjustments, so we will be using the warm-up for this."

-credit: yamaha-racing.com

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Colin Edwards , Jorge Lorenzo , Davide Brivio , Dani Pedrosa